PT Indosat is to spend USD40 million this year to roll out a submarine cable network to improve the company’s cellular telecoms services. The new cellular backbone will link East Java with Sulawesi via Kalimantan to increase both capacity and quality of service. According to Indosat president director Hasnul Suhaimi, the investment is part of a USD670 million sum being set aside by the firm to expand its cellular services in 2006. The country’s second largest service provider by subscribers is also planning to extend the coverage of its CDMA-based fixed wireless networks in the coming months and by April/May 15 cities will be covered. The service is currently available only in greater Jakarta, East Java and North Sumatra. In addition, Indosat plans to launch 3G services in the last trimester of 2006, concentrating mainly on Jakarta and will initially use the UMTS network to support its existing 2G network to avoid dropped calls during peak usage. The company is targeting between three to four million new mobile customers this year on top of the 14.5 million it has currently and is planning a more aggressive marketing strategy to realise this goal.